Operation Graduation 2014 Essay: Lauren Wooten (Limestone, Ala.)

Date: May 5, 2014

Defying the Odds

Ombudsman changed my life. My first day attending here, I was a terrified mess. Now I cannot imagine myself finishing my education anywhere else. Ombudsman means more to me than most kids. I didn’t just come here to get done with school as quickly as possible – I formed friendships and learned more than I could have ever dreamed. I am so thankful for my time here.

Attending here at Ombudsman helped me achieve more than I could have at my high school. With the help of my teachers, I was able to complete three grades in only two years! Since I have a baby, that was an amazing accomplishment. I will be a better, more successful mother to him because of Ombudsman.

At the beginning of this year, (my second year here) my parents gave me the opportunity to go back and attend my regular high school again but I just couldn’t do it! I love the learning environment and couldn’t stand to leave my teachers. My teachers here have taught me so much more than just school work, they’ve taught me life lessons that I will carry forever. I am so thankful for them and I will miss them so much.

Now that my time here has expired, I am looking forward to attending college. I plan to go to Calhoun Community College for two years and Athens State University for two years. I am going to study education to become a high school science teacher.

If I had not come here, I don’t know that I would have even been able to finish high school. I am so thankful for all of the doors Ombudsman has opened for me. If I had the chance to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing. Ombudsman is a life changing program. I was blessed to be a part of this program, and this will always be my home.

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